Let everything you do be done in love [motivated and inspired by God’s love for us]1st Corinthians 16:14
Hi! It’s so great to have you here today.
We’re going to start by listening to the song below. Please try and listen to the lyrics and meditate upon them.
Thanksgiving is not just about the words that are uttered, or the songs that are sung. It is about the heart that the gratitude flows from. God looks at the heart.
But I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.Jeremiah 17:18
Everything a person does flows from their heart. This is why the Bible says:
Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
It’s why Jesus also said:
“A good person produces good things from the treasury of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasury of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.”Luke 6:45
“You brood of vipers, how can you who are evil say anything good? For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.”Matthew 12:24
The type of gratitude that pleases God, is heartfelt. True and Godly thanksgiving ultimately flows from a grateful heart. To give pure and sincere thanks to God, you must have a grateful heart.
Thanksgiving expressed in words and in song and dance should be an overflow of what is already happening in the heart of a person. The outward expressions do not constitute thanksgiving. Someone can dance and sing a song of thanksgiving but not be expressing gratitude to God.
You’ve probably been in situations where someone was expressing gratitude, but you could tell that they were doing it out of obligation and it didn’t really come from their heart.
So what is a grateful heart?
A grateful heart is one that has been transformed by the love of God. A heart that has spent time meditating on Him, and gazing upon his beauty. A heart that is fixated upon knowing God and his ways. Most importantly, a heart that understands the sacrifice of Christ on the cross and the gravity of what he did for all humanity. (You can read more about God’s love expressed in His salvation of mankind here)
A heart that grasps all of this, is a heart that is easily moved to give thanks to God.
This is the kind of heart that David had. God called David, a man after his own heart. I can’t think of anybody else in scripture that embodied a heart of gratitude the way David did.
In fact, he one danced in gratitude so much that he was mocked by his wife who said a King shouldn’t dance the way he was dancing.
As the ark of the Lord was entering the City of David, Michal daughter of Saul watched from a window. And when she saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord, she despised him in her heart. They brought the ark of the Lord and set it in its place inside the tent that David had pitched for it, and David sacrificed burnt offerings and fellowship offerings before the Lord. After he had finished sacrificing the burnt offerings and fellowship offerings, he blessed the people in the name of the Lord Almighty. Then he gave a loaf of bread, a cake of dates and a cake of raisins to each person in the whole crowd of Israelites, both men and women. And all the people went to their homes. When David returned home to bless his household, Michal daughter of Saul came out to meet him and said, “How the king of Israel has distinguished himself today, going around half-naked in full view of the slave girls of his servants as any vulgar fellow would!” David said to Michal, “It was before the Lord, who chose me rather than your father or anyone from his house when he appointed me ruler over the Lord’s people Israel—I will celebrate before the Lord. I will become even more undignified than this, and I will be humiliated in my own eyes. But by these slave girls you spoke of, I will be held in honor.”2nd Samuel 6:16-22
There are many beautiful Psalms penned by David, throughout his life, where he extolled the Lord. One of my favourites is Psalm 8.
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!
You have set Your glory above the heavens.
From the mouths of children and infants
You have ordained praise on account of Your adversaries,
When I behold Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars,
which You have set in place— what is man that You are mindful of him, or the son of man that You care for him?
You made him a little lower than the angels;
You made him ruler of the works of Your hands;
You have placed everything under his feet,all sheep and oxen, and even the beasts of the field,
The birds of the air and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your name in all the earth!Psalm 8
It’s possible for you to cultivate an attitude of gratitude and have a heart that’s constantly thankful to God. If you’re a believer, you already have a new heart by virtue of your faith in Christ and his saving work on the cross of calvary.
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will remove your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes and to carefully observe My ordinances.Ezekiel 36:26-27
You have been wired by God to have a heart that pleases him. You just have to intentionally walk in it.
You can cultivate a grateful heart by consciously thanking God. When you read the word, thank him. Thank him for little things as you go about your day. Say “thank you Jesus” as many times as possible. Write psalms. Sing songs of praise. Train your heart to give thanks to God always!
I used to believe thanksgiving always had to be spontaneous for it to be heartfelt or valuable, but that’s not true. God welcomes our intentional thanksgiving. He loves it when we plan to give him thanks.
I will proclaim Your name to my brothers;
I will praise You in the assembly. You who fear the LORD, praise Him!
All descendants of Jacob, honor Him!
All offspring of Israel, revere Him!
Thanksgiving prompt: Thank God for the new heart he has given you. A heart that responds to his will and yields to His Spirit. A heart that pleases him.
I advice that you journal your thanksgiving, it will help you engage in it more consciously, and in 50 days, you will have a record of gratitude.
You can play the song below as you give thanks to God.
Dance before the Lord in thanksgiving, just because He is God!
Thank you for reading! Please share this with as many people as possible! God deserves our gratitude.